Old Donkeys Needed!

We are thin on the ground when it comes to the older generation

“I’ve heard a lot of stories in the past year of Christians in Edinburgh nearing retirement, and selling up their homes and moving to some of the nicest areas of the city. That’s cool, because these areas need the gospel too. But what I’m asking is that some older, experienced Christians would catch the vision of 20schemes, sell their house, and invest the rest of their lives to help reach the housing schemes of Scotland for Christ.”


I once heard the story of a people group in somewhere like the Himalayan mountains who used donkeys to carry their belongings and supplies. Their journeys often traversed narrow mountain-passes where treacherous precipices guaranteed fatalities should someone put a foot wrong. When introducing younger donkeys to the arduous task of carrying the heavy loads and whilst negotiating the hazardous routes, they would tether the young donkey to an old experienced one. The veteran would lead the way, without having to bear the burden of cargo; the rookie would follow behind, carrying on it’s back the necessary supplies.

I can’t exactly remember where I heard this story. It might have been my granddad. It could have been on a David Attenborough documentary. It may have been a dream. The details are sketchy. However, the story reveals a real need in our ministry to the schemes of Scotland: we’re lacking old donkeys.

Here’s what we’re finding: ‘Like attracts like.’

In a church planting setting that has its positives. To plant a church you have to be able to gather a team who are up for it, and you have to be able to gather unbelievers who don’t yet know that they’re up for it. And because like attracts like, you’ll tend to gather people who are generally like you – people who are around your age and stage, people who share your interests, people who you’d naturally hang around with. For us that’s meant that initially our planting group was largely made up of young couples, from middle-class upbringings, with a healthy evangelical churched background. That’s all good. At least we were attracting some people.

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